Warriors Keen To Put One Over Tampines
Tampines Rovers vs Warriors FC
(Saturday, 1 April, 7.30pm, Jurong West Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Warriors FC will return to Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League action when they face Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium on Saturday night, hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the season.
Due to the international break, It will be the first league fixture for both sides in almost three weeks.
In their last competitive fixture, Warriors shared the spoils with Geylang International in a 1-1 draw in the S.League while the Stags were handed a 4-0 reverse by Hanoi FC in the AFC Cup.
According to Warriors coach Razif Onn, it will not be an easy game against a Tampines side led by Juergen Raab and he is certainly not going to take their opponents lightly.
“I watched them play in the AFC Cup and against Albirex Niigata (S) (in the opening game of the season),” he said.
“They have good players in the team like Ryutaro Megumi, and there are also the rest like the Singapore players like Madhu (Mohana) and Daniel Bennett at the back. I believe this will create a good fight to compete against Tampines.”
Nevertheless, the Warriors honcho is gunning for a win which could see them overtake Tampines in the league standings with just two points separating the teams going into this.
“We approach every game wanting to get the three points,” he said.
“A point is not good enough especially when you started the season with a win. I believe if you start the season well, you will also want to end the season well too. We still have the second and third round (of games) to worry about and (we have to bear in mind) that things might not always go our way.”
Forward Jordan Webb, who made the switch to the Choa Chu Kang Stadium from Tampines in the off-season, echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“We will approach this game like any other game, it doesn’t matter who our opponents are,” said the Canadian.
“Our team goes into every game wanting to win it. It is going to be tough, every game poses a different challenge and if you want to win you must go into it with a winning mentality.
“We didn’t play too well against Balestier and Geylang but we got decent results and there's certainly room for improvement every time we play. With more game time, you will see us continue to get better,” added Webb.
While Warriors only had left-sided player Ho Wai Loon who was involved with the national team, Tampines had six players. They are namely Izwan Mahbud, Madhu Mohana, Shakir Hamzah, Daniel Bennett, Yasri Hanapi and Khairul Amri.
And Razif is hoping this could give the nine-time league champions a slight edge over their opponents.
“We want to collect as many points as possible and Tampines have a number of players with the national team, they should only be back on Thursday or Friday. The game is on Saturday, so that might have an effect on the players,” the 63-year-old said.
“We will try to take advantage of this situation to play against Tampines and hopefully the players with the national team will need more time to recover (which could work in our favour).”
Unlike Warriors, Tampines will have suspension woes to deal with as Jamil Ali will serve the first of his two-match ban after he received his marching orders in their last league game against Balestier Khalsa.
Suspension: Jamil Ali (Tampines Rovers)
Tampines Rovers - LWLWL
15/03/17 Hanoi FC 4-0 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
11/03/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Tampines Rovers
07/03/17 Ceres-Negros 5-0 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
03/03/17 Tampines Rovers 2-1 Hougang United
26/02/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Tampines Rovers
Warriors FC - WLWWD
10/03/17 Warriors FC 1-1 Geylang International
28/02/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Warriors FC
25/10/16 Warriors FC 5-1 Hougang United
14/10/16 Geylang International 2-1 Warriors FC
30/09/16 Warriors FC 2-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
Head to Head (S.League)
12/08/16 Warriors FC 2-3 Tampines Rovers
17/05/16 Warriors FC 0-0 Tampines Rovers
30/04/16 Tampines Rovers 4-2 Warriors FC
02/11/15 Tampines Rovers 0-0 Warriors FC
07/08/15 Warriors FC 2-1 Tampines Rovers